Before Saving Grace there was Touched by an Angel. Before Touched by an Angel there was Highway To Heaven. And before Highway To Heaven there was…well, Clarence and It’s a Wonderful Life, I suppose? The supernatural in general, and angels in particular, is a pretty fertile ground for fiction, though often with wildly differing results.
Highway hearkens back to a slightly gentler time, both in terms of TV/media and in perceptions/portrayals of God. Not to make out the mid-to-late 80s as some sort of idyllic time for religious media, but there’s a kinder spirit to this TV show than you might expect to see in this day and age. I mean, you’ve got Pa Ingalls as your lead character for crying out loud. What’s not to like? Cast as Jonathan Smith, an angel on a mission from God, he travels wherever he’s needed, stepping in and lending a loving hand to the people he encounters. His partner in healing of course is Mark Gordon (played by Michael Landon’s best friend, Victor French). It’s probably not the most Scripturally/Biblically accurate depiction of human/angel interaction, but that’s not too surprising really.
And that’s basically it. As a TV serial, the show followed the same basic format week in and week out. For this season box set, you get all 24 episodes from the first season spread out across 7 DVDs. The special features include a feature length documentary about Landon, outtakes and text biographies of Landon and French. If you’ve never seen the show, give it a shot on TV first (it’s in syndication on a few different channels) to see if it’s to your liking. In this day of flashier, fast-paced TV programming, something like Highway To Heaven is a bit of an anomaly, but it can be a refreshing one.